View Full Version : Xbox 2 RUMORS & FACTS from GS

27-02-05, 10:42
Microsoft has been steadfast in refusing to comment on Xbox 2 rumors or speculation, but we're not nearly as strong-willed here at GameSpot

We've compiled the major rumors and facts surrounding the next-generation Xbox console into one place to give our readers a snapshot of what's publicly known about the Xbox 2. Much of this information has already been covered across several editions of Rumor Control, but we wanted to pull all the information together since recent Microsoft disclosures have shed light on rumors reported in the past

[click here]XeonSBDiagram. Is it real? (http://img.gamespot.com/gamespot/images/2005/hardware/previews/xbox2rumors/xbox2rumors_screen002) (Xbox Advanced Technology Group)


Rumor: The next-generation Xbox will be called Xbox 360, Xenon, or some clever combination of the words "Xbox" and "Next."

Fact: A number of console names have surfaced from reports citing focus-group surveys where participants were asked to evaluate possible names for the Xbox 2, but Microsoft still hasn't announced the official name of the next Xbox. In the rare instances when Microsoft executives, including chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, have commented on the machine, they have only referred to the next-generation console as "Xbox 2" or the "next Xbox." Microsoft has confirmed to News.com that the internal code name for the system is Xenon. However, the official product name will almost certainly be different. Tech site Engadget, citing an inside source, has reported that the next console might be called "Xbox 360," which is now the rumored name du jour.

Rumor: Microsoft will debut the Xbox 2 at E3.

Fact: Microsoft has not officially announced that it will show the Xbox 2 at E3, but the console is likely to make an appearance. An Xbox 2 absence would be extremely costly to Microsoft since both Sony and Nintendo will have their next-generation consoles at the show.

Rumor: The Xbox 2 will ship in late October or early November 2005.

Fact: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put a scare into gamers last July when he told analysts that "there's no new Xbox in the next year." However, the statement was made at a financial meeting, which means that Ballmer was likely referring to the 2004-2005 fiscal year rather than the 2005 calendar year. In an interview with GameSpot Hardware at CES 2005, Xbox software platform general manager Cameron Ferroni told us "when it comes to being available for Christmas, if you've got a Christmas with one but not the other, it's not going to be theirs." It made perfect sense when we heard it in person, but to translate through the double negatives: if there's only going to be one console available at Christmas, it's going to be the Xbox 2. Recent rumor reports have narrowed down the launch window to late October or early November, but the Xbox 2 still doesn't have an official release date.

Rumor: The Xbox 2 will have three IBM PowerPC processors.

Fact: The only thing we know for sure about the Xbox 2 processor is that IBM will be the manufacturer, but there are a number of rumors floating around regarding the CPU specifications. The first rumor on the actual CPU specifications appeared in a February 2004 Mercury News story, which reported that the system will have three "IBM-designed 64-bit microprocessors." Website Team Xbox quickly followed up with the clarification that the Xbox CPU will be a multicore processor based on the 64-bit Power5 core. The multicore processor design appears to make the most sense, especially since IBM is also developing the Cell processor, which boasts a multicore design. Alex Albrecht of TechTV fame also posted a piece of information, aptly titled "Rumor...rumor...rumor...," from an IBM insider revealing that Big Blue is using the same technology in the processors it's producing for the Xbox 2 and the PlayStation 3.

Rumor: Microsoft plans to release three versions of the Xbox 2: one without a hard disk, one with a hard disk, and one that functions as an entry-level PC.

Fact: The Inquirer originally reported this story in November 2004, and, given the lack of an official product announcement, we can safely file this piece of information under rumor and speculation. However, for what it's worth, the Xbox 2 triple-threat story has other rumors to back it up.

First, there's the Xbox 2 diagram leaked to the Chinese GZeasy Website last April, which has a then dubious-sounding "Hard Disk ('built in' not decided)" bullet point. Many pointed at the hard drive uncertainty as proof that the diagram was a fake when the document was first leaked, but the line now makes sense considering the rumored Xbox 2 variations. Also, in a recent Rumor Control, we investigated an Engadget story where a snowboarding tipster claimed that, during a Red Bull-and-tequila-inspired revelry session up in Whistler, British Columbia, Microsoft's J Allard revealed that the next Xbox would have a removable, self-powered hard drive with MP3 and WMA support. At this point the optional iPod-like storage device sounds probable, especially if you love to believe rumors built on top of rumors.

Rumor: The Xbox 2 won't use Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

Fact: Microsoft has not disclosed what media format(s) the Xbox 2 will support. While the rumor mill only jumped on this story recently, we couldn't help but notice that the leaked Xenon block diagram mentioned earlier only lists the DVD as the standard media format. It makes sense for Microsoft to stick with the standard DVD media for the next Xbox since the technology is already proven and Microsoft needs to hit its 2005 ship date. DVDs should be large enough to fit future titles, and the "Blu-ray versus HD-DVD" format rumble probably won't have a clear winner until it's time to release the Xbox 3.

Rumor: The Xbox 2 will include wireless controllers standard.

Fact: Stop us if you've heard this before, but Microsoft has not disclosed whether or not the Xbox 2 will have wireless controllers standard. However, we can tell you that Microsoft PR became very agitated during this year's CES when we asked if the Xbox 2 would have wireless controllers. We followed up on a statement Bill Gates made to News.com where the Microsoft chairman stated that he wanted the Xbox 2 to "move up to things like high-definition graphics and wireless that the chip breakthroughs allow us to get to." Although Microsoft declined to clarify Gates' statement, we think the agitated response was a pretty good indicator that Xbox 2 users will be cord-free in 2005.

[Source - www.gamespot.com (http://www.gamespot.com) 2005]

[ 27. February 2005, 10:43: Message edited by: Apofiss ]

27-02-05, 20:22
Well, I have an 'inside source' (god, how exciting that sounds!) who works fof EA, and he tells me they have had development kits for XBox 2 or whatever it's gonna be called for a few months, and that they've already got almost finished code for pre-christmas releases of some fairly big titles. I work for a high street games retailer and we've been told to expect a UK release towards the final quarter of this year. Whether or not its all true is anybodys guess, but it brightens up my day!
Speaking of new consoles, has anybody got a PSP yet? Is it worth importing one?

28-02-05, 11:39
I am still gonna stick with the Playstation 3.

28-02-05, 14:34
PSP is released in the next 2months at Game. The Nintendo DS is hitting the shelves in a weeks time or so.. I'd say wait for the UK stock, because the Japanese, and less-so American variations of the console have been plagued with horrible hardware problems.

The article puts it across like they know what they're talking about, even though they have *nothing*. Seems stupid to try and debunk rumours like this.

Anyways, the XNA SDK 1.0 has been out for development since March 2004, and October we saw an update that saw the finalised specifications & developer versions of the hardware sent out.
(or atleast the Microsoft Game Studio companies did)

The name, well.. Xenon is etched on the Development Box; and also appears when booting it up. The X-Box Dev Box doesn't have 'Houston' etched on the side ;)

Xenon will be using HD-DVD Format, Revolution will be using DVD-Ram (2nd Generation), Playstation 3 will be using Blu-Ray.

That isn't speculation, that is fact from the BluRay website.

Xenon will *not* ship with wireless controllers. They will be available on-launch though. The controllers haven't changed, they just says Xenon on them now in different colours.

'Will the X-Box 2 have a Hard Disk' .. Cheapest version of it won't. You will be able to upgrade it, however the prices are currently set to:

Basic / 100 - No HDD, No Internal Modem
Gamer / 150 - 20GB HDD, Broadband Modem, X-Box Live subscription & headset
X-Box PC / 250 - 60GB HDD, Broadband Modem, Internet Facilities, Keyboard, Mouse, Compatible with Microsoft Products (such-as Office / Visual Studio)

So it comes out alot cheaper. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

Triple Processors.. is wrong, it is a 'Triple Core' 904e PowerPC Processor. Superscaler version of the G5 CPU for all intensive purposes, providing it will almost as much MultiTasking ability as an Intel Pentium Processor.

God knows why they mention the PS3 Processor, it isn't even in the same universe of design. The only possible affiliation is the fact that IBM was *part* of the development team.
IBM literally designed all of the Xenon and Revolutions processing architecture... CPU, Mobo, Ram, GPU, etc...

All IBM did for the PS3 was help pre-fabricate the processor. They didn't even design the bloody thing. It is a totally different beat.

Toshiba (TX83) was used as the base, and is the big brother to the TX79-A used in the PS2/PSP. Both are 128-bit processors, but the new one has some nice SuperScaler processing abilities.

28-02-05, 22:03
There's still no sign of the PSP over here. :( Some people say it'll be summer, others say christmas :eek: I think they're wise to hold off (Sony, I mean) I just dont see how they can hope to compete against the DS at the moment. The PSP may look better, but I think the saying that beauty is only skin deep is true! I would recomend anyone to get a DS. It rocks! But I will still get a PSP as long as I don't have to sell my kidneys or my first born child to pay for it! :D

28-02-05, 22:06
Does anyone remember the game Red Rover? Or am I just showing my age?! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/redface.gif

28-02-05, 23:28
Originally posted by IAin'tYourHunnyBunny:
Does anyone remember the game Red Rover? Or am I just showing my age?! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/redface.gif Maybe. Is that is Java based game? http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

28-02-05, 23:30
I had that on the Electron, glorius 4bit Colour http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

PSP should be out in the next month or so... Game have the date on thier site, something like April iirc

tlr online
01-03-05, 17:40
I'm still waiting for my Sony PSP. Eagerly waiting at that, too!

01-03-05, 17:45
Originally posted by tlr online:
I'm still waiting for my Sony PSP. Eagerly waiting at that, too! I wonder why people want it so much, what's wrong with PS2? (is it the mobile thingy?) http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

tlr online
01-03-05, 17:48
It's the mobile thing for sure. I'm always playing Sonic on my Nokia 6600 when I'm 'on the road', so to speak.

01-03-05, 18:11
So, based on what specs have been released so far for the next generation machines, which is most powerful? XBOX 2 or Playstation 3?

01-03-05, 22:21
The Sony PSP is effectively a portable version of the Playstation 2, Apofiss.
In-fact this is more of a literal truth as it is almost identical specifications, however the teething problems have been worrying me.

As my brother is getting a Nintendo DS next week, that leaves me to get the Sony thing (joy).. I've already laid dibs on the next generation Gameboy heh

The teething problems of the flexible case that allows the ejector mechanism to activate on it's own, the console failing to boot on various occasions, overheating issues (which have actually burnt some people hands in some cases), more limited battery than indicated.
(Sony claim up to 6hrs of gameplay, actual tests have shown closer to 3-4hrs unless you turn down the brightness on the screen, sound off and DualShock off), Oh and the niggling button breaking problem.

Well anyways, on the specifications front, the Playstation 3 is going to be by far the most powerful; by the same gap that the X-Box has over the Playstation 2.

Processing wise, they're capable of keeping pretty evenly aparently.. but when you get into the graphics. The NV50 GPU aparently just makes the RV520 look like it should be in a museum.

This said who the hell cares which is more powerful, it's what the developers do with them that counts. Personally I think Metal Gear Solid : Twin Snakes on the GameCube looks (and plays) far better than Metal Gear Solid 2 : Substance on the X-Box. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

01-03-05, 22:31
Originally posted by Raven_:
The Sony PSP is effectively a portable version of the Playstation 2, Apofiss.
I know, I just was wondering about people being ready to spend about $250 for a diminshed version of PS2. :rolleyes: